I didn’t create this blog last year with a view to only writing when things were rosy. I thought it would be a good, bad and the ugly type affair. But it seems I haven’t written since October, and then I wrote a very lengthy research paper on Australia’s depressing asylum seeker issue. I have been very aware of not writing. The not writing has almost been an active past time. I have been at war with myself and struggling with who I was, who I now am and who I want to be in the midst of the mire of motherhood. I have been a full time mum since we relocated to Melbourne in July 2012. It has been a difficult eighteen months, and I knew it would be…not just the motherhood lark…but combined with the rest of getting on with life…it has been tough. A relocation is an enormous step, made no easier by being 22 weeks pregnant at the time of moving. We found a home, a place to give birth to our second child and then we had another baby. But the support networks we were so used to and familiar with in London weren’t there. So here I was, full time mum, out of the loop and dealing with the hormonal blues in a fairly tangible way, and feeling responsible for dragging my fella away from his friends, family and work contacts. I ought to say from the get go that my family’s support here in Melbourne has been extraordinary, and I do not take that for granted in the least. However, jump to my son with acid reflux, months of no sleep, endless illness, pressure from maternal health nurses because he is not gaining weight (more of that in another post) and the stress levels rise and I just want to walk around the corner and meet my friends and have a teary and a cuppa and then a great big understanding laugh. I also ought to mention that old friends here have been marvellous of course, truly gorgeous. But after thirteen and a half years of me being away, people’s lives are their own; they are established, they have their own routines, jobs, dreams. It’s not the same. It was never going to be the same. But both my fella and I struggle with the missing people. Oh so much.
Let’s not get bogged down by the detail. I don’t dispute that there are also some wonderful quality of life things now…space, garden, proximity to the sea, to my family’s home and so on. But I want this to be short and sweet, and almost an apology to myself for not checking in. In a nutshell I have lost myself over the course of the past year and a half. I miss making music and I miss my musicians and the ease I found when Maple turned one and I just stepped straight back into the gig circuit in London like there had been no break at all. I know that I can step back into performing here, and I have promised myself and others that I will do this. But I guess I’m scared. I’m alone. I haven’t gigged solo in years and that’s probably where I’ll need to start. I’m also looking to the future and wanting to contribute. I had been accepted into a Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy at Regent’s College in London and was seriously inspired by it. But in Melbourne, I come up against obstacle after obstacle telling me I don’t have the right qualifications. So I found myself compromising my dreams, coming up with things to do so that I might contribute to the family coffers, make us eligible for the child care rebate…all of these shitty little things to help us keep our heads above water…instead of things which are honest, have staying power and which inspire me. We are dreamers, my fella and I. We’re not driven by the buck, but by what makes us tick. Rushing to make decisions about our lives just doesn’t work. It feels like a jail sentence.
Look my career options are a separate issue. This post is supposed to be about me losing a sense of purpose; losing a sense of myself, what I’m capable of. I have spent so many years feeding my creative soul and drive that I find myself not particularly cut out for the ‘workplace’. This didn’t bother me back in London where most of my friends were in precisely the same situation; singing, writing, painting…for their dreams and because there is nothing else they could imagine wanting more and because it hurts too much to let it go. I’m just not the sort of person who can sign up for something that doesn’t get me excited. But I have lost the bounce in my step in my dedication to my kids and in getting my head around this new life we have chosen. I doubt my potential. I fear to break down the very suburban picket fence to look beyond the obvious. There is also something about returning to my home town which causes me to play safe. I don’t see the possibilities like I did when overseas. I am not unstoppable.
So this needs to change. Lots of things are in transition with my bub oh so devastatingly reluctantly starting childcare (though I feel this may be premature). I may soon have some time to myself to create again, to play again, to feel young again.
That’s all for now. I know this is a common predicament for mothers. I know I’m not alone. It just sometimes feels rather lonely and simultaneously far too noisy in my silly little head.